The Love Pit Blog
Pit Bulls – Where do they come from?
Part of getting to know your dog is understanding where they come from and what they were bred for or rather, what comes genetically natural to them. First, what is a Pit Bull? A pit bull isn’t a breed of dog but rather a description of physical appearance. “Pit Bulls” or “Bully” breeds contain the following: Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and are referred using the term “Pit Bull”. So, let’s get to know our beloved bullies by starting with their history. Pit Bull ancestry starts with looking at the earlier known breeds and what they were bred for. The American Pit Bull Terrier is one of the earliest registered breeds known with their ancestry being traced all the way back to the 12th century and being a cross between the ancestors of the Bulldog and Mastiff. The pit bull type breeds were originally bred to help with large animals like bulls and bears eventually being used for the now illegal blood sports of bull baiting and dog fighting and finally in the early days of conquering the American West, farmers used them to help with livestock. They were bred to be people friendly with excellent temperaments. The American Pit Bull was even a celebrated at one point within the American culture. Some of the most famous being pictured below.
Of course, as their popularity rose, overbreeding occurred as did irresponsible owners. This resulted in the breed developing a bad reputation; a bad reputation they don’t deserve but still carry with them today. Most pit bulls, however, are upstanding citizens and excellent, loving family members. However, thanks to today’s information highway and media frenzy, just a couple of “bad apples” keep this bad reputation alive.
There are many, like two of the famous pups below, entering the “workforce” and making a difference! Their general willingness to please and trainability make them great candidates for law enforcement and therapy.
Through education, training and general myth busting, pit bull advocates are combatting this reputation… and making headway! YAY ADVOCATES! In the coming weeks and months, we will be addressing some of those myths floating around as well as diving more in-depth into good activities and “jobs” for our pitty friends. Stay tuned!
For more on pit bull history, visit: http://www.pitbull-info-and-training.com/pitbull-history.html